Commercial 26' draft RO/RO
Each Army Regional Flotilla (ARF) has a need for a 26-foot draft combination RO/RO / Container ship for HA/DR/SOF prepositioned equipment afloat. The shallower draft ship affords three times the global port access over the 34'6" maximum draft LMSR. Especially if MSC reduced the Stow Factor and therefore the total tonnage loaded, it could reduce the max draft to 33?} draft LMSR. Less than world-class ports are anticipated in regions of small-scale contingencies (SSC) where this type equipment has historically been employed over the last ten years (as determined in a study by CAA).
Ship internal design parameters must incorporate: 1) 165,000 square feet clear under deck space; 2) 5,784 STON load carrying capacity; 3) 70 STON capable ramp; 4) minimum height of 10 feet (for 2/3rd space) and 13 feet (for 1/3rd space); 5) must be humidity controlled; 6) and selective offload capable with 50% broken STOW. Ship external parameters must include: 1) no more than 26-ft [7.92 meters] draft; 2) no longer than 600 feet; 3) 8,000 nm unrefueled range; 4) 16 knot minimum speed; 5) equipped with two pedestal cranes; 6) upper rear helicopter landing pad; and 7) able to store and offload four LCM-8s via pedestal cranes. Ship administrative requirements must include: 1) less than 20 years of age; 2) must be American Flagged vessel; 3) daily cost less than $39,000; 4) minimum 59 month charter; and 5) deliverable during June-December 2004.
A meeting was held at MSC HQ with PM-3 representatives on 26 June 2003 to discuss the desired capabilities for a shallower 26-foot draft RO/RO for Humanitarian Assistance / Disaster Relief / Special Operations Forces (HA/ DR/ SOF) in order for PM-3 to draft and release a marketing survey to potential vendors. This meeting focused on these required capabilities.
These ships would be relatively small. The Maritime Commission's C-2 design, typical of ships of the mid-20th Century, had a length of 459 feet and a maximum draft of slightly less than 26 feet. These ships traveled into small ports. Today's largest container ships ships are as long as three and a half football fields, or over 1100 feet, and have a draft of nearly 48 feet. They require deep ports and channels in which to operate together with large port areas. A 26-foot draft Ro/Ro car carrier would have a maximum load of 3,000 cars.
The Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid (OHDACA) appropriation funds three humanitarian activities of the Department of Defense (DoD) - the Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) Program, the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) and Foreign Disaster Relief and Emergency Response (FDR/ER). OHDACA programs support the Secretary of Defense Security Cooperation Strategy and U.S. military forces in meeting two key requirements. The first is to maintain a robust overseas presence aimed at shaping the international security cooperation environment in a manner that dissuades would-be aggressors by promoting peace and stability in regions of tension and assuring allies and friendly nations through low-level contacts where other programs would not be possible. The second requirement is for U.S. forces to respond rapidly and effectively when called upon to assist the victims of storms, earthquakes, and other natural or manmade disasters.
The DoD humanitarian assistance programs meet these needs by providing Combatant Commanders with an unobtrusive, low cost, but highly effective means to carry out their engagement and security cooperation missions, while providing a valuable training benefit for U.S. forces. Furthermore, OHDACA augments the Commanders' austere resources and expands their capabilities to respond rapidly to humanitarian crises. The U.S. forces get substantial training and readiness benefits and gain access to regions important to U.S. interests by providing humanitarian assistance to countries in need. These programs enhance deployment and war fighting skills, and increase readiness across a number of operational areas - including C3I, civil/military affairs, transportation and logistics.
The DoD humanitarian assistance activities, of relatively minor cost but having major influence with friends and allies, are approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and coordinated with the Department of State (DoS). This cooperative effort ensures the U.S. Government (USG) unity of effort and compliance with national security and foreign policy goals.
The Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) and Foreign Disaster Relief and Emergency Response (FDR/ER) programs are designed to assure friendly nations and allies of American support and enable timely and effective response to crises. The Department and Combatant Commanders seek to help avert political and humanitarian crises, promote democratic development and regional stability, and enable countries to begin to recover from conflict. By providing early assistance these programs also minimize the potential for crises to develop or grow further - regional stability is fostered, reducing a requirement for large-scale deployment of US military forces at a later date.
DoD may play a key role in humanitarian crises by providing effective response when asked by the DoS or the Agency for International Development. The U.S. military offers exceptional operational reach and can be immediately deployed as a stopgap measure to limit the extent of emergencies. DoD's ability to respond rapidly assists in the containment of crises and limit threats to regional stability by donating and/or transporting relief aid within hours or a few days of a disaster. The U.S. military is unmatched in regard to command and control, logistics, transportation, and communications, and in the amount of cargo able to be transported by available air or sealift. These capabilities would be extremely expensive to develop and maintain in any other government agency.
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